OK, OK. If you’re going to Vegas, you’re probably not going to completely miss out on visiting the Strip. I wouldn’t either. But there are some great reasons to rest your head away from the crowds on Las Vegas Boulevard. Downtown Las Vegas has seen quite a bit of revitalization over the past several years, making it a great choice when booking your hotel. Here’s why:
- It’s much cheaper. You can get a lot of bang for your buck by choosing to stay Downtown vs. the Strip. I’ve seen prices in the $20s/night for highly rated hotels Downtown during off periods. For the weekend of January 2–4, you could stay at a 3-star hotel on the Strip for $90/night; compare that to a similarly rated hotel Downtown for $40/night. That’s more than half off!
- You’ll have more freedom. If you stay Downtown, you’ll likely want to rent a car. For that same two-night stay over the weekend of January 2–4, an economy car via Hotwire is $50, which means you’d break even and have wheels. This is a good thing because it allows you to get out of the casinos and explore the area. Want a breath of fresh air? Gorgeous Red Rock Canyon is just 30 minutes away and worth every penny of the $7 entry to the state park and the 13-mile scenic drive (it's free if you have an America the Beautiful pass.) Want to see some vintage Vegas? A quick drive to the Neon Museum puts you up close and personal with the neon signs and local lure of days gone by. Want to game, but not hitting it big on the penny slots? The Pinball Hall of Fame is a darn cool diversion where you can play dozens of classic pinball machines for just a quarter a game.
- Downtown is more walkable. Yes, there are lots of really amazing hotels and casinos on the Strip—but it may take you 15 minutes to walk between each one. Walking up and down the Strip can be exhausting, especially in the heat of summer. When I stayed at Caesars Palace, it felt like I had to walk through miles of casino and shopping mall before I got to my hotel room or out onto the street. Compare that to Downtown, where you can literally walk between casinos in 30 seconds. And if you rent a car, getting to the Strip is a breeze—every casino has free parking (even valet, for a tip of just a few bucks). This will make it easier to see more of the Strip than you might if you have to hoof it. Besides the casinos, Downtown offers some neat experiences: Slotzilla, The Mob Museum, and the new Container Park are just a few attractions that are within a five-minute walk of anywhere Downtown.
Ready to skip the Strip? Take a look at our best-value hotels for staying in Downtown Las Vegas.